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When it comes to hybrids, you might automatically envision the Toyota Prius. It’s a well-recognized model with its own distinct brand. But for those who prefer the hybrid technology in a less conspicuous model, and a little more refined style, the Honda Insight might be a better fit. It’s a stylish and capable sedan offering all the best hybrid features and benefits.

Originally launched in 1999 as a two-door hatchback, the Honda Insight has come a long way. In its third generation, redesigned last year, the Insight has transformed into a four-door sedan. While consumers over the years have reported a variety of mild concerns and issues, the oil consumption problem seems to be the most prevalent.

If a new-to-you Honda Insight is in your foreseeable future, there are a couple of years of which you need to be aware, regarding this issue. And, it seems it’s seemed to have gotten worse over time.

Isolated complaints about recent models

The redesigned Honda Insight has plenty to get excited about, including comfort, style, tech, and an estimated fuel-efficient 52 mpg. The expert reviews are citing a few complaints with the newer model, however. One main drawback is the sedan’s somewhat noisy operation. Engine vibration can be loud when the car battery needs charging. But this concern isn’t as serious as the past reports of oil consumption.

Which Honda Insight year is the worst?

We often rely on the data analyzed by as they collect and record actual consumer complaints, costs, and repairs over various model years. According to their information, the Honda Insight’s worst year is 2012, based on the number of consumers citing oil consumption problems. The 2012 model year is also rated the worst because of the average cost of repairs and mileage timelines when those problems begin to occur.

More about the oil consumption problem in 2012

Based on verified consumer complaints, the 2012 Honda Insight shows over 70 reports of excessive oil consumption. A few consumer testimonials indicate dealers sometimes struggle to identify the problem as well, making it hard to pinpoint necessary repairs.

Of those reports, repairs include complete replacement of pistons and rings and engine replacement altogether. The average cost across all of these concerns is $2,070. The average mileage at which consumers first noticed the problem is around 64,000 miles.

Oil consumption problems actually get worse with time

Typically, when common issues occur, the automakers rush to authorize repairs or issue recalls to correct the problems. It appears that this repeatedly reported complaint has fallen on deaf ears and continues to get worse over time.

In fact, the 2013 model year records similar statements from Insight owners as well. Fixes include piston and ring replacement, as well as a few cases of complete engine replacement. The average mileage at which these reports are filed is around 56,000 miles. The average costs that hit hard to the vehicle owners’ bank accounts are more than those reported in 2012. Repairs are running around $3,300 for 2013 models.

It’s not uncommon for vehicles to accumulate complaints over the years. Those vehicles with newer technology and equipment, including hybrids, might experience different or more notable kinks as automakers streamline their design efforts. If you think you’re ready to embark on your own hybrid journey, there’s plenty to love about the Honda Insight.

It’s a stylish and impressive sedan now, and reliable hatchback in previous generations. Just know that many have already reported oil consumption problems for 2012 through 2013 that have proven to be costly. Avoid those years if you can, or at least inquire about excessive oil consumption concerns before you buy.